The Peeps

This year I shared my birthday with many little bundles of fuzz.  Three classrooms at Harrington incubated and hatched chicks.  Their hatching day was May 17th and many arrived that day and even more on the 18th.  So I got chicks for my birthday.  One of my students made me this darling card.
Little did she know that I really was getting hens for my birthday!  I arranged to keep some of the chicks.  Originally I was going to take three but the woman who gave us the eggs was overwhelmed with chicks and encouraged me to take more, so I kept six.  Four came from our class and two from another.  It was not easy choosing, there is no way to tell at that age whether they are male or female so I took a gamble and went with my gut.
There was one special chick that I didn't think twice about.  I had volunteered to take the chicks home for the weekend and there was one little chick that had been working on hatching all day so I took the incubator as well.  Now being the animal lover that I am, I assisted mother nature and helped this little chick crack her egg open just enough that she could push her legs through and bust out.  I couldn't let it die in the egg, if she was going to die I wanted her to at least be free from her egg.  She was all black and pretty tired from pecking.  I left her and one other chick in the incubator over night.  In the morning she was still alive and peeping.  The other chick was dry and anxious to get out so I took her out and put her with the other chicks.  The lone chick in the incubator still needed to dry.  Meanwhile, I jumped on the computer to search for ways to help this tiny chick.  I came across my new favorite web site, Backyard Chickens, and found SO much information.  Little black chick was trying to walk around the incubator but was still pretty weak and wobbly, she reminded me of a Weeble Wobble, and so I called her Weeble.  Once she was dry I took her out and put her in a special box I had lined with a towel to give her firm footing.  Well that lasted a short time as I quickly learned that chickens like to be together and when they are not they chirp very loudly and non stop!  So I took a chance and put her in with the other chicks.  To my relief, they welcomed her and took good care of her.  She was still weak so I made her a mash of hard boiled egg yolk and chick feed (thank you BYC).  So long story short that little chick is alive and well!

Now to introduce the chicks!  

The pictures show them at two weeks and three weeks.  They are losing their fluff and growing feathers like crazy!  I can't wait to see what colors they end up.

The Coop
So now that I have six chicks I need a home for them.  We hope to end up with four females.  It is still to early to know for sure which are male or female, but some seasoned chicken owners have been helping me guess on BYC.  It looks like I may have half and half.  Anyways back to where they are going to live!  I have searched, searched, and searched again for the perfect coop.  Jay and I originally decided on a combo of these coops:

But after doing more research I discovered that we would have to get a permit to build a permanent establishment.  So I went searching again and finally (after many, many, many hours) decided on this coop:
This coop allows us to move the girls around the yard and we do not need a permit to build it.  I have some ideas to modify the inside and outside.  This is going to be a big project for me and I have three weeks till the chicks need to move out (or unless if they get too big for the brooder before that).
The Peeps 2013
The coop was finished in 2012 but has undergone some changes/modification.  We planned on having to move it a few times before it would land in its final spot (we had to tear down some sheds first).
The Denver Double 
The Coop gets a flower box and some stenciled chickens
The final spot, under the grapevines
 I wrote a lengthy update on the peeps on Our Urban Farm page.  There have been many changes and I will share that story through pictures here.
Weeble, the pet chicken
Peanut and his girls, Ginger, Luna, Hattie, and Hazy
Hattie in her sick box, she passed away a couple days after this was taken


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